The Isle of Wight Council has today (Wednesday 24 November) announced its expectation of an estimated loss of 535 posts.
The move is a response to the current economic situation and the subsequent large reduction in money made available to local authorities. As a result, the council has to save £32 million pounds over the next four years. Around £17 million of this will need to be saved next year. Consequently, the council is unable to maintain the current range of services in the manner they are presently delivered.
The posts are likely to be lost from across the authority at all levels although senior management is likely to, proportionately, be hardest hit. Chief executive Steve Beynon said efforts were still being made to ensure the number of compulsory job losses would be kept to an absolute minimum with a pragmatic view being taken on applications for voluntary redundancy and early retirement, as well as a range of other measures to preserve as many jobs as possible.
In addition, the 535 figure may include some posts that will be transferred under TUPE to organisations who may choose to take on the delivery of services in the future or those that may transfer to social enterprise or other such arrangements.
Mr Beynon said: “This will naturally be a difficult time for staff and we will make sure that all the appropriate support is made available to help them through the process.
“But in these challenging times, the council does have to take a look at the services it provides and ask whether these can be delivered more efficiently by us, by another organisation or indeed whether there is a need to provide the service at all if, by stopping it, we can protect services that are most needed by the more vulnerable in our society.”